Animas No Mas
I poured my second cup of coffee this morning and opened Facebook. There were pictures of a friend's new kittens and links to political commentary. And then this:
As the parent of a person who will, on Saturday, have been infusing insulin via an Animas pump for exactly 13 years, I have layers of concerns which range from the personal to the way this company's closure shapes the marketplace.
Today we'll begin at the beginning and consider the announcement itself. I learned the news on Facebook. Because I follow 'Children With Diabetes.' They posted a link to an undated, legalese-y notice posted on Animas' website.
We, as I mentioned, have been this company's customers for 13 years. Animas has our email, phone numbers and home address. We have not yet been directly notified in any way. Johnson & Johnson is a huge company. Surely they have a communications arm which could have handled this better? Direct mail timed to arrive today? A call or even a robo-call? Even something as simple as emailing the notice currently on their website. Not only does this feel unprofessional it feels a little like a bad teenage break up... Maybe if I tell enough people I'm gonna break up with her somebody'll put it on Instagram and I won't have to tell her.
Animas' notice includes the following cryptic lines for people in our family's particular situation: If you are on a pump with a warranty that expires on or after September 30, 2019, you or your pump supplier will be contacted by a member of the Medtronic transition team concerning the option to transfer to a Medtronic 630G insulin delivery system at no cost. This sentence left me with more questions than I had to begin with.
Medtronic, it seems, has a better communications team. I found a link on Twitter to a clearer, kinder explanation. There was a nice line acknowledging that the transition will be "tough." There was also a very well laid out timeline chart which reassured me that customer support will continue to be provided for in-warranty Animas pumps through September 2019 and that we'll be contacted that May to discuss switching over.
But, according to the tiny bit of information I've gleaned so far, we'll be required to switch to Medtronic since we got a brand new Animas Ping system in March of this year, with a 4 year warranty.
Not only have we been broken up with terribly inconsiderately, we now have no choice over who to date next...
More on that next time.